Mesothelioma Symptoms And
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that originates in the linings of organs in the chest and abdominal cavities. Statistics from the American Cancer Society show that 2,000 to 3,000 cases of this disease are reported each year in patients after the age of 55. Early indicators typically go undetected; thus diagnosis of mesothelioma usually occurs when the cancer is at an advanced stage.
- Mesothelioma is diagnosed when it has reached an advanced stage. Early symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing and chest pains are often mistaken for symptoms of other illnesses, like pneumonia. The unusually long incubation period provides ample time for cancerous cell formations to occur throughout the body. As asbestos fibers become lodged within the lungs, they continue to burrow within the chest and abdominal cavities and may enter lymph nodes. Cancerous cells then spread further by following the trail of damaged tissue.
- Mesothelioma symptoms develop in four stages. Early stages are categorized as localized cancer within one region; in advanced stages, cancer has spread to different areas. Stage I occurs when cancerous cells exist in the lungs, diaphragm or pericardial membrane linings. Stage II occurs when cancer spreads from one of these regions into the lymph node system. Stage III is present in the heart and membrane linings, the wall of the chest and the center of the chest. Stage IV affects other organs outside of the chest and abdomen regions.